One year after the cancellation of the test, threatened in Africa, Dakar left its historical continent for Argentina and Chile, hosts of the rally-raid as from Saturday in Buenos Aires and until January 17.

Concerned not to revive the terrible one and expensive fiasco of 2008 and to make sure safety of the participants, the organizers decided to slice in the sharp one. And selected to cross the Atlantic. “It is Dakar! reassure Etienne Lavigne, the director of the race. I would even say that it forever as well borne his name as a name of an extreme event of mechanical sports. We find even what announced its success the discovery, the adventure and the unknown.” In 14 stages and 9578 km whose 5591 of special, the 530 crews will find indeed all the ingredients of what made the legend of Dakar of Thierry Sabine since her creation in 1979: long travelling tracks, revolving and technical tracks, dust, out-tracks, dunes sand, navigation and wadis.

The principle will be also the same one, with initially some fast stages of setting in mouth in the pampa towards the south and a more technical increase towards the Andes. Then, the competitors will ingurgiteront a dish of copious resistance by joining Chile, with dunes, fesh-fesh and the majestic Andes cordillera to be crossed twice. After one day of rest, on January 10, in the smart Chilean seaside resort of Valparaiso, Dakar will set out again full north along the Pacific, with a passage in the desert of Atacama, one of most arid of the world, before beginning again full is – and a passage to 4700 m of altitude to join Buenos Aires.

In addition to heat – announced higher than in Africa and in particular the night and the concern related to altitude, the great difference lies in the landscapes, with imposing assembly lines, volcanos, of Rios, plates, reddish deserts of rubbles and even of the cacti: in short the promise of unforgettable and sumptuous images for those which will have the time of musarder. Musarder will obviously not be the watchword for the favourites which will be undoubtedly the same ones as in Africa.

Peterhansel towards the record

In the car, Mitsubishi aims at the eighth success of sharp – if one does not take account of the bracket 2008. The Japanese stable, taken along by Stephan Peterhansel, who aims at the tenth personal success (already 6 in the motor bike and 3 in the car) and Luc Alphand, winner in 2006, decided this year to change model. After crushing the domination of Pajero, “Mitsu” leaves with the Throw. And as long as to change, the leaders of the mark decided to pass to the diesel engine to make like the principal rivals, BMW, with Guerlain Chicherit, the former king of the ski free wrinkle, and Volkswagen, led by the Spaniard Carlos Sainz and the South-African Giniel De Villiers.

This passage to the diesel could benefit the applicants “gasoline”, in particular imposing it Hummer of the American Robby Gordons or Buggys (Thierry Magnaldi). In the motor bike, where mark KTM is practically alone, the race should be a duel between the French Cyril Despres, double victorious (2005 and 2007), and the Spaniard Marc Coma (2006) which quickly will want to impose its rate/rhythm. Ultimate detail to point out the origins of the race: the drawing of the course placed on a chart coincides with that of… Africa. “A chance”, promises Etienne Lavigne, who does not know yet if the edition 2010 will find Africa or in a more durable way in the pampa will settle.


Eurosport – AFP

Tranlated into English…by me and Babel Fish!dakar-2009-logo


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